2021 Graduate College Distinguished Lecture: Canceling Student Debt is Anti-Racist (and Why We Must Do It)

Join the Graduate College and noted educator, journalist and scholar, Dr. Andre M. Perry, for this year's 2021 Graduate College Distinguished Lecture. Perry’s research focuses on race and structural inequality, education and economic inclusion. He will discuss how centering student debt policy around students of color would help to combat historic systemic racism that has prevented Black people and people of color from gaining the wealth they were denied for centuries. As a result, it is more difficult for Black Americans to pay back their student loans, acquire homes and start businesses.

Following Dr. Perry’s lecture, he will sit down with special guest Dr. Battinto Batts Jr., dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University for a question and answer session to include questions from the audience. Questions for Dr. Perry can also be submitted in advance through your in-person or virtual registration.

The event is free and open to the public. The lecture will be livestreamed and limited in-person seating is available. Registration is required for both event formats.

About the speaker:
Dr. Andre M. Perry, noted educator, journalist and scholar, is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Perry is nationally known and respected in the fields of race and structural inequality, education and economic inclusion. He is the author of "Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities".

Prior to Brookings, Perry worked in education in the Louisiana government, founded the College of Urban Education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI, and was an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of New Orleans.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Perry earned his PhD in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland College Park.

About the interviewer:
Dr. Battinto L. Batts Jr., dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, is an award-winning journalist and journalism educator with deep experience in philanthropy and nonprofit administration. As the school’s top leader, he supervises approximately 170 full-time and part-time faculty, 50 staff members and 2,300 students. He also oversees 13 intensive full-immersion professional programs as well as all undergraduate, graduate and online curriculums.

Batts holds a master’s degree in media management from Norfolk State University and a doctorate in higher education management from Hampton University.

Contact: Keith Chandler
Phone: 480-965-3521
Date/time: October 21, 2021 at 4:00pm
Location: Old Main (Carson Ballroom) and Live-streamed, Tempe campus
Price: Free


Welcome reception for Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows and Graduate Assistants in MU 228 (Cochise).

Under the Teach category of the LIFT Initiative (T1 and T2), this is the first cohort of these two initiatives. The event will feature remarks from Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost; Elizabeth Wentz, university vice provost and dean, Graduate College; Cassandra Aska, deputy vice president and dean of students, Tempe; and Vernon Morris, school director and professor, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences.

The event encourages the new scholars to network with their colleagues and ASU faculty and leadership to begin creating a supportive community as ASU.


President Crow has appointed Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, Vice President of Cultural Affairs, and Dr. Jeffrey Wilson, Department of Economics, to co-lead the Advisory Council on African American Affairs and address the 25 actions to support Black students, faculty and staff. Members of ASU’s Black faculty, staff and student community have been invited to attend a town hall with Colleen and Jeffrey on November 9, 2020 to address key areas of interest related to these initiatives. We value your ideas and input, as we look for the best way to accomplish these issues. An ASU-wide Town Hall will be held in the coming weeks.

As the Council embarks on this very important work, we want you to know we cherish your valuable input. We will keep you up to date as things progress and look forward to your continued feedback. If you are not able to make the town hall, please send your suggestions to